Each winter we seem to have a month when more moderate weather melts the snow at lower elevations. The best places to hike when this happens are along the shoreline and beaches of our rivers and Kamloops Lake. The Cooney Bay Road is rough at any time of the year, but it was even more potholed with deep slushy puddles in January, almost making it high clearance access. I parked at the end of the road and headed down to the shoreline, skirting muddy spots.
The most open areas were mostly dry with some shoreline snow and ice blown to the shoreline from across the lake, or swept downriver and around the bend. My route was along the shoreline on the beach toward the Tranquille River outlet.
On the way back, I walked upstream along the Thompson River. This delta area was full of sandbars and ice shelves. It is possible to walk along the beach and shoreline all the way to the Rivers Trail, but there are some sections of scrubland with very little shoreline just east of the Tranquille Wildlife Area, making progress quite difficult. A better choice is to hike the Rivers Trail West to the end of the beaches on one day and to hike Cooney Bay another day, skipping the 3 km section in between.